Saramish was an witch who lived in the Planasene Forest about a hundred years ago. She possessed only a modicum of magical power—enough to draw the templars' attention, but not nearly enough to defend herself from them. As the templars closed in on her, Saramish worked a spell of transformation. No one knows what her intentions were, but the outcome could not have been to her liking. All that was left of Saramish when her spell was complete was a mighty hedge, almost as tall as a man.
The hedge was uprooted and taken to the College of Enchanters in Cumberland, where the enchanters declared it harmless, and not too different from a common hawthorn. Since hawthorn bushes do not have the capacity for thought, it was decided that it would be impossible for Saramish to return to her true form. Out of pity for the poor woman, the "hedge witch" was planted outside the college.
It was later uprooted and sold to a private collector of curios, as the college's groundskeepers could no longer maintain the "hedge witch"—for while it required very little water or sunlight, the bush's aggressive growth made constant trimming a necessity.
—Excerpt from Templar Tomfoolery: Saucy Little Tales from the Barracks compiled by Senior Enchanter Wentworth Higginbottom